X client without X server

Bill Tillman btillman99 at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 3 15:26:15 UTC 2013

 From: Anton Shterenlikht <mexas at bris.ac.uk>
To: mexas at bristol.ac.uk; olivier2553 at gmail.com 
Cc: on at cs.ait.ac.th; freebsd-questions at freebsd.org 
Sent: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 9:17 AM
Subject: Re: X client without X server

    From olivier2553 at gmail.com Wed Jul  3 13:09:25 2013


    On Wed, Jul 3, 2013 at 5:47 PM, Anton Shterenlikht <mexas at bris.ac.uk> wrote:
    >         Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2013 10:55:48 +0700 (ICT)
    >         From: Olivier Nicole <Olivier.Nicole at cs.ait.ac.th>
    >         To: freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
    >         Subject: X client without X server
    >         Hi,
    >         Is there a way to install an X client without automatically install an
    >         X server?
    >         On all my systems, I throw xterm and emacs, as the primary tools I use
    >         for management, but the display is always remote, I never, ever, run X
    >         on the machine, but still it install X server, fonts and a lot of
    >         useless junk like xcalc.
    >         Is there a way to install xterm and only the libraries that are needed
    >         to run xterm?
    >         TIA,
    >         Olivier
    > I've been doing this for years.
    > What's the problem?
    > Just install xterm, or whatever you need.
    > All the necessary libs will be pulled in, e.g.:
    > $ pkg info -xd xterm
    > xterm-293:
    >         xproto-7.0.24
    >         xextproto-7.2.1
    >         renderproto-0.11.1
    >         printproto-1.0.5
    >         libxcb-1.9.1
    >         libXrender-0.9.8
    >         libXpm-3.5.10
    >         libXp-1.0.2,1
    >         libXext-1.3.2,1
    >         libXdmcp-1.1.1
    >         libXau-1.0.8
    >         libX11-1.6.0,1
    >         libSM-1.2.1,1
    >         libICE-1.0.8,1
    >         kbproto-1.0.6
    >         libXt-1.1.4,1
    >         libXmu-1.1.1,1
    >         libXaw-1.0.11,2
    >         libXft-2.3.1
    >         fontconfig-2.9.0,1
    >         expat-2.0.1_2
    >         freetype2-2.4.12_1
    >         pkgconf-0.9.2_1
    >         pcre-8.33
    >         libpthread-stubs-0.3_3
    > Obviously xterm does not depend on xorg-server.

    But for some reason, xorg-server gets installed too. And tons of fonts, and ...

    It could be emacs, or cvsup, these are the 3 X Window clients I install.

I don't use emacs, but you can quickly check,
prior to installing, what other ports will be
required, e.g. do

make -C /usr/ports/ search name=emacs-24

You might be familiar with this already, but
if not, the B-deps are those ports which
are required to build your port, and R-deps
are required to run your port. For emacs-24,
both the default and the devel branches, you
see that they depend on xorg-fonts-truetype-7.7_1
and lots of other libs, but not on xorg-server.
net/cvsup has a lot fewer dependencies, again
no xorg-server.

In general X server is only required by the ports
running on the graphical side - screen, mouse, kbd, etc.,

$ pkg info -xr xorg-server

So I'd say something is wrong with your installation
if xorg-server is being pulled in when you build
emacs, xterm or cvsup.

Post the output from "pkg info -aq".
Maybe this will give us a hint.


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Just my 2¢ worth on this. Sure, one always wants to keep overhead low. But the days of limited RAM, small hard drives, etc...are long since behind us. I remember in 1994 when and IT consultant came in and built a Novell server for us with a whopping 1 GB hard drive. And back then how we thought with a 1 GB hard drive we'd never run out of space. Well these days one could easily run out of space with such a small hard drive. But with today's systems having 2 or 3 TB drives and GB's of RAM, something as trivial as X-Server should not be a problem. If you don't need it, don't run it. But to worry about the space it takes up is kind of a moot point these days. And like some of the other replies mentioned, xterm may not require it, but one of xterm's dependencies may. I run Asterisk routinely on my systems and I'm always amazed at how installing one port requires no less than 38 other ports to be installed as well.

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